The Rider Waite tarot pack by artist Pamela Coleman Smith is rich in symbolism. Coleman Smith was psychic besides being an artist and filled the cards with many ideas by using symbols, and colours.
My focus today is, the meaning of the five of wands, and what the various symbols incorporated in the image may mean.
The image shows us five young men engaged in a fight with sticks (wands) Whilst a fight is taking place, the feelings of the card is ‘competitive’ rather than ‘anger’
This tarot card most basic meaning is: ‘ something of a struggle in matters of negotiation, however despite the aggravation there should be a good outcome in the end. Courage and endurance may be needed if you want to arrive where you want to be”
However, we can also pick up other clues to interpretation by looking more closely at the image.
‘The clash of the sticks’ ‘friction, heat’ differing ideas’
The age of the figures. They are youths, indicating fresh ideas and the willingness to take part in adventures.
One figure only is wearing a hat, a red one. Red symbolises energy and passion. The hat meaning -perhaps the old saying of ‘keep it under your hat’ ‘the need for secrecy on a certain matter.’
The ground on which they fight is ‘yellow-green’ No desert is visible here as in many of the other cards. This represents fertility, a place where things can grow, here is nature and vitality.
All the figures are dressed in different coloured clothing, representing the different aspects of their will. Their determination, the continual process of comparing and testing each other.
The blue sky background of this tarot card – the heavens, the divine relam and the realm of the will. Clear thinking.